The carmaker's biggest technological breakthrough is earmarked to debut overseas.
Tesla has long been at the forefront of electric vehicle technology since it was established over a decade ago, ranging from electric motors to batteries and everything in between. It has also managed to innovate and implement an impressive Supercharging network spanning a few continents. But as other automakers are becoming more serious rivals, it's time, once again, for Tesla to raise the stakes. Last January, we reported Tesla had plans to disrupt the industry with a new battery technology capable of increased longevity.
Dubbed the "million-mile battery," it isn't about driving range but rather boosting battery lifespan to a thousand to two thousand recharge cycles before replacements are necessary. Currently, Tesla's batteries can allegedly last up to 500,000 miles. For some perspective, the average American drives about 13,500 miles per year, and the average semi-truck driver 100,000-150,000 per year. In other words, today's batteries aren't exactly good enough for long-haul driving, a requirement for semi-truck drivers.
And now it appears Tesla's new no-cost, long-life battery will debut later this year or early next. The chosen vehicle? The Tesla Model 3.
However, the big debut, according to Reuters, won't happen in America but rather in China. Tesla CEO Elon Musk could reveal this new battery technology during a so-called "Battery Day" event later this month. Not only will the batteries last for a million miles - especially useful for the also upcoming Tesla Semi - but they will also reportedly help bring down the price of EVs to that of gasoline-powered vehicles while still earning the automaker a profit.
As impressive as both are, they're only one part of Musk's big plan. Basically, Tesla's "goal is to achieve the status of a power company, competing with such traditional energy providers as Pacific Gas & Electric." But why have this big debut in China and not in the US? The reason is very simple.
This new battery was jointly developed with China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. Musk personally recruited battery experts to come and work at Tesla specifically for this project.
For now, Tesla has refused to comment on anything related to the new battery tech and its reveal date. What sources do know is that it involves low-cobalt and cobalt-free innovations. New chemical additives and various other materials will reduce internal stress and allow batteries to store more energy for longer periods. Also, Tesla will debut a new "high-speed, heavily automated battery manufacturing process." Tesla is also working on recycling plans for nickel, cobalt, and lithium in order to give batteries a second life.
It's still premature to know when all of these new technologies will be released across Tesla's entire lineup, but Musk is, once again, several steps ahead of his rivals. It pays to be first.